The Malta Independent 29 February 2020, Saturday

Keith Schembri drops libel suit against The Malta Independent

Monday, 27 January 2020, 13:41 Last update: about 2 months ago

Former Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri has withdrawn a libel suit he had filed against the Malta Independent over a story which claimed that his company in the British Virgin Islands had received €750,000 in 2014.

Magistrate Victor Axiaq was told this afternoon that Schembri himself had signed a note withdrawing the libel suit, four days after his lawyer had renounced the brief.

The Malta Independent’s lawyer, Peter Fenech had not been made aware of this development. Fenech only got to know that the libel case had been ceded when he turned up for the hearing. 

The story “Three quarters of a million transferred into PM’s Chief of Staff BVI company in 2014” was published on September 15, 2016. 

At the previous sitting in December, Schembri had not made an appearance in court and his lawyer, Andrew Sciberras, had formally declared that he was no longer representing the man.
 
Today, nearly two months later, the defendants learned that Schembri had personally signed a formal note in which he ceded the case, “without reservation.” Magistrate Axiaq declared that, in view of the note, he was no longer taking cognisance of the case and declared it closed.

The case had been against Pierre Portelli, former director business and content, David Lindsay as editor of The Malta Independent on Sunday, and Stephen Calleja, editor of The Malta Independent online.

Schembri resigned last November from the post of chief of staff at the OPM and was later arrested and questioned in connection with the police investigations into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

 

 

 

 

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